You asked for it, and I’m providing: an excerpt from the pumpkin novel. Consider it a late holiday gift. This part is from the second draft, and I changed it to eliminate all but one pumpkin. In this piece this pumpkin becomes sentient and floats off into the night. I can see lots of things wrong with it, the most obvious being my excess repeating of certain words. But after some heavy revising, this scene can stay in the story. That’s more than can be said about some other scenes, though most of that is due to some heavy changing of my timeline.
Here you go!
The house was silent that night. All four family members slept in their respective beds, and even if they were awake, they wouldn’t have been able to stop what was happening outside. Not even the neighbors would have been able to stop the action.
The full moon peeked behind the clouds while a soft breeze whistled through the trees. A black and white calico cat ran down the street toward the house next door and entered through the cat door. The pumpkin sat on the front porch, the jagged smile that Derek had carved on its face earlier that day stuck on its face. Then something changed. The pumpkin could feel it. A tingling sensation went through its eyes, nose, and mouth, and if its hair weren’t carved into its surface, it would have stood on end. The pumpkin took advantage of this sensation and raised its eyebrows. Somehow, it could raise its eyebrows. It blinked, and with a little more effort, contorted its jagged smile into a frown, then a confused look, and finally returned to its original jagged smile.
The pumpkin’s cap floated above it, then returned to cover the pumpkin again. The pumpkin looked up. Floating! What a funny thing. The pumpkin willed the cap to float. Surely if the cap could float out of the pumpkin’s control, and the pumpkin could control its facial expressions, then it could make the cap float. The pumpkin imagined the cap floating above its head and looked up.
The cap hovered several inches above the pumpkin’s head. The pumpkin wished it down again, and the cap came back down.
Then the pumpkin had a thought. What if… No, it couldn’t happen. That was silly to even wish for in the first place. But what if it weren’t so silly after all? It had to try, and if it failed, all the pumpkin lost was a few minutes.
So the pumpkin tried to will itself to float. The pumpkin imagined itself floating in the air, and a few minutes later, the pumpkin could feel itself leaving the confines of the ground. The pumpkin floated in the air several inches above the ground for several more minutes, and the jagged smile on its mouth turned into a grin. A final, even crazier, idea occurred. It could float up and down. What about the other ways? The pumpkin had to try.
The pumpkin imagined itself floating to the left instead of floating up, and sure enough, the pumpkin floated to the left. To the right! the pumpkin imagined, and the pumpkin floated to the right. The pumpkin floated in a circle a few inches above the ground, and practiced combining these powers: floating up and to the left; floating to the left while wrinkling its nose; and finally floating up, to the right, blinking, wrinkling its nose, and smiling simultaneously. The pumpkin willed itself to whirl around while floating up and did so.
It looked up at the house and floated up toward Derek’s room. Derek had pulled the shades down, so all the pumpkin saw through the window was a wall of dark blue. That didn’t stop the pumpkin from musing about him and feeling a kinship to him. This was the boy, the pumpkin knew. He has so much potential in life, so much talent. It’s just bottled up inside him and won’t come out.
Unless someone helps him. The pumpkin sighed, then realized that it made that sound all by itself. If it could sigh, then it could speak. But how was speaking going to help Derek out? The pumpkin moved its mouth again and said, “I will help you, Derek.” The voice that came out of the pumpkin’s mouth sounded exactly like Derek’s voice.
The pumpkin had decided. It turned away from Derek’s window and floated away into the night.
8 replies on “Excerpt: The pumpkin novel”
I have honestly never thought about a pumpkin becoming sentient. I love it! 😀
@Arumi Thank you! Thank alok baikadi for triggering my brain into thinking up this novel. Okay, my brain did the hard work, but he did mention something that stayed in my brain until I came up with the idea.
Thanks for posting, great stuff thus far. How early/far into the novel is this excerpt?
@JMattHicks Thanks! This is really early in the novel because everything else in the story comes from this incident. That’s why I chose to post this scene. Okay, that and this scene isn’t as bad as some others. 😉
@Sushi Awesome. I’ll buy a copy when it’s published! But I’ll want it to be autographed 😉
@JMattHicks I can make sure of that. 🙂
I enjoyed that. Good stuff.
@mattfishwick Why thank you!